16 November 2009


These Dreams: Time Travel

In the grand, if still young Shredded Cheddar tradition of letting it all hang out on the Internet, I'm going to give the world wide web a peek into my subconscious mind.

Last week, I had a dream about one of the following English bands from the 80s.

TheClash Photobucket

NewOrder OrchestralManoeuvresDark

TheSmiths SpandauBallet

I know I've only divulged the name of the band to one other person on this planet. I warn him now that if he reveals it to anyone else, I shall never speak to him again. Ever. Except, perhaps, in Heaven. But does he really want to wait that long? Especially when divulging the secret would only lengthen his stay in Purgatory anyway?

So now for the story, which I fancy is still pretty interesting, despite my having withheld all incriminating names of people and places . . .

As the title of this post says, it was a dream about time travel. A friend and I traveled back in time to the early 1980s, before [The Band] hit it big and started selling out concerts. Accordingly, we watched them perform in [The Club] where they built their initial local fan base. After we had embarrassed ourselves with behaviour that couldn't possibly have made sense to the other clubbers, first over [The Lead Singer] and then over [The Bass Guitarist], my friend suddenly realised we had to come back to the present. She didn't explain, but I trusted her completely.

With no time to waste, we hurried back to our flat in [English City], changed out of our 80s wear, and started running for a certain gate.

Now, my friend happens to be a very seasoned time traveler, not to mention a recurring character in all my time travel dreams, and I never feel perfectly sure that her method is going to work for me whenever I have to make the jump again. What it involves is running, as fast as one can and with all one's might, against a wall. After the first time, when I nearly concussed myself trying, my friend compromised by making us run against something softer . . . like a gate.

So that is what we were doing. That is, it was what she was doing and what I was trying to do, too. As clumsily foreshadowed in the previous paragraph, however, this time only she made it through. I slammed into the gate at full force--with very minimal injury this time around--and found myself all alone in 1980s [English City].

I waited a few minutes, and when my friend didn't return for me, I trudged back to our flat through the thickly falling snow. (Oh, didn't I mention the snow?) Then I had to wonder how to survive in a city I had never seen before, with no ID, no paperwork, and no friends.

That is the point where I woke up.

But don't worry; I won't leave you hanging any more than I left myself hanging. A split-second after regaining lucidity, I made the conscious decision not to let the dream end that way. So I willed myself back to sleep . . . and then things started to get weird.

(No, they weren't weird before. What ever gave you that impression???)

So I fell asleep again . . . and the problem seemed to solve itself. Having nothing else to do (and unable to get the heater in the flat to work), I went back to [The Club] the next night to see [The Band] again, and [The Bass Player] and I ended up really hitting it off. A few years later (as time, already elastic in dreams, becomes even more unpredictable in dreams about time travel), he asked me to marry him and I accepted.

Then, of course, who should show up but my friend. She had come to tell me that I couldn't marry [The Bass Player]. According to future records, he married someone else after I mysteriously vanished one day and broke his heart.

And that was when my dream self did something my conscious moral agent self would NEVER do: I said that I didn't give a hang about the bloody timeline and that there was no way I was going to break the heart of the man I loved.

Which is not to say that I'm some major heartbreaker in real life (Bwahahahaha!). I just happen to be adamant about defending the future and preserving the timeline one knows to be correct. This dream behaviour was unprecedented . . . and it was just the beginning of my erratic reasoning.

You see, though I elected to stay, I told [The Bass Player] before our wedding that if he ever became unfaithful to me, I'd vanish on him. Again, that's not something I'd do. I have a very fixed set of ethics when it comes to time travel, and I believe that the time one ultimately commits oneself to is the bed one makes for oneself and must lie in. It is thanks to time that all our actions have consequences, and time travel should never be about avoiding those consequences. (Then, of course, there's the fact that it undercuts what I had just said to my friend.)

It's really just too bad that, several years after our wedding day, I learned that [The Bass Player] had indeed betrayed me. I was so devastated by the discovery that I zipped back to my own time without leaving so much as a note. It was an easy decision to make because we had no children . . . which is, now that I think about it, the strangest twist of all! Yes, it was the irresponsible 80s, but I'd never use birth control in a marriage--not even a dream marriage.

My friend was there to meet me in our own time, and she was appalled at what I had done. Thanks to my impulsive decision, she said, shoving a reference under my nose, [The Bass Player] had been suspected of murdering me and had been dragged through a very public trial. And as angry as I was with him, I immediately sprang into action again to prevent that nightmare. So I went back in time again, but not to England. Instead, I traveled to Japan, where I used my status as celebrity wife to land a spot on a TV commercial selling face cream and make the rounds of local chat shows. After providing what I deemed sufficient "proof of life," I woke up again.

Yes, I know what you're thinking, because I'm thinking it, too: I should have quit while I was blocked by the gate and alone in the snow.

Image Sources: a) The Clash, b) Duran Duran, c) New Order, d) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, e) The Smiths, f) Spandau Ballet


christopher said...

What are you eating before you go to sleep? You should really give it an hour or so to digest...


You even DREAM about the 80's! Woah...

Enbrethiliel said...


I'm not sure I understand you.

It sounds as if you think it's a bad thing . . .


antiaphrodite said...

involves...running, as fast as one can and with all one's might, against a wall

You know, I think that's even more 80's than, say, using a plutonium-charged rocket-car, or an electrified telephone booth.

And I'm totally not jealous of the fact that The Bass Player not only spoke to you in the dream, but actually married you. No, not jealous at all.

Enbrethiliel said...


It would have been extra 80s with this as the soundtrack:


And remember that the hot bass player cheated on me. =P So you can indulge in some schadenfreude, if it will make you feel better.

Now if only I had as much luck with men in real life as I do in dreams! (Though, hopefully, not with the same thorn in the tail!)

antiaphrodite said...

Eh, not much into that schadenfreude stuff :-)

Men in real life? Where can I find those? :-P

Enbrethiliel said...


Let's make a deal: the first one who figures out where they are must tell the other immediately! Okay? =P

antiaphrodite said...

Oh it's a deal! :-D